Talk about Divine Intervention…
Riverside, California (CNN) — Akiko Kosaka, a student from Japan attending the University of California at Riverside, had lost all hope for her family in Minami Sanriku, the fishing village where more than half of the 17,000 residents are missing and feared dead in the aftermath of last week’s tsunami.
For three days, she scoured the Internet. She received one e-mail that her youngest sister, Yukako, 13, was likely safe in her middle school’s shelter. But what about her parents, paternal grandparents and older sister, who all lived under the same roof?
When the mayor was quoted in the media as saying he barely survived the tsunami, Kosaka thought the worst, because her father’s pharmacy was located near the town hall.
“I didn’t think they survived,” Kosaka, 20, told CNN during a tearful interview Tuesday. “I cried for three days — Friday, Saturday, Sunday.”
Then she received word Sunday night from a friend in Japan of the existence of a 45-second YouTube video showing her family home as the only one standing amid the rubble. The video highlighted her older sister holding a sign to a TV news crew saying in Japanese “we are all safe.”
Kosaka expressed relief upon hearing of the video, but became distraught after she couldn’t find it online, despite staying up all night looking for it.
Then a contact through a Japanese social network e-mailed her the link Monday morning.
When seeing the video for the first time inside the home of her host family in Riverside, California, Kosaka’s reaction surprised everyone in the household.
“I screamed, and my host parents woke up and they thought it was really bad,” Kosaka said. “They asked what happened. And I said, ‘They survived!’”
People blame technology and the internet of a lot of the ills of society nowadays, but this is an instance where technology is the probably the coolest. Thing. Ever.